Marriott International seeks next generation of Chefs


Throughout National Apprentice Week (3-7 March 2014), Marriott International is holding a series of open days aimed at attracting young people into the culinary industry.  Hundreds of aspiring and ambitious chefs will be welcomed into more than 50 Marriott hotels up and down the UK, to meet current chefs and apprentices, participate in interactive cooking sessions and learn about the Marriott Culinary Apprentice Academy (MCAA), a programme designed to attract and train the next generation of chefs.

Two years ago, Marriott made a commitment to youth employment by launching the MCAA, a programme run in conjunction with Babcock, a training provider, and local colleges to train young people to a minimum NVQ level 2 in culinary.  The 18-month programme awards a guaranteed commis-chef position to every apprentice that completes the course.

“Youth unemployment continues to be a serious problem in the UK and we recognise the need to raise awareness of the exciting opportunities within the culinary industry and the rapid and diverse career progression it can offer,” said Bridgett Price, Chief Human Resources Officer for Marriott International in Europe.  “We hope that the open days will inspire young people to consider a culinary career and join the Marriott Culinary Apprentice Academy.”

To date, the MCAA has trained ten young chefs to commis-chef position and has a further twenty apprentices enrolled on the programme.  The academy has an extensive support structure and is designed to identify and nurture talent.  Two apprentices have excelled, earning demi-chef de parties positions with one being awarded three accolades; Bristol Apprentice of the Year, College Apprentice of the Year and runner-up in National Apprentice of the Year.  Marriott aims to enrol thirty more apprentices this year when applications open in April.

Marriott has heavily invested in the future of its restaurants and culinary teams.  Last September, Marriott Hotels, the signature brand of Marriott International, announced a partnership with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage to celebrate and support local and sustainable food and enrich the guest experience.  The new seasonal menus launched at Cardiff Marriott Hotel and Hollins Hall, a Marriott Hotel & Country Club in West Yorkshire, will soon be rolled out to cover more of Marriott Hotels’ 50 UK hotels.  The chefs at both hotels underwent rigorous training at the River Cottage Chefs’ School and obtained City & Guilds accredited certificates in a range of competencies, from procuring sustainable food through to butchery and nutrition.

For more information on careers at Marriott, click here.

Final Week for Entries & Nominations for the CIS Excellence Awards 2014

Just a wee reminder that entries and nominations for the 11th annual CIS Excellence Awards, in partnership with, will close on Monday 10th March 2014.

Aimed at ALL types of established and emerging businesses and individuals involved in Scotland’s catering, hospitality and tourism industries – from chefs, foodie pubs, colleges and caterers, to restaurants, hotels, software developers, food manufacturers, training companies, local authorities, tea rooms, guest houses etc, etc – there is a category to suit you or your business.

And this year, in recognition of 2014, we are introducing a 14th category: The Employee of the Year Award, sponsored by Mazars and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Aiming to identify the individual within the Scottish hospitality, catering and tourism industry who has consistently risen above and beyond their usual remit over the last 12 months, the award is open to employees of all sizes and types of organisations within the sector.

Entries are free of charge, you may nominate as many organisations or individuals as you wish, and nominations are open until Monday 10th March 2014.

The 2014 categories are as follows:

The Employee of the Year Award, sponsored by Mazars and the Royal Bank of Scotland

The Business Innovation Award, sponsored by 3663

The Independent Event-Caterer of the Year Award, co-sponsored PIDY & Freshwater

The Award for Excellence in Hospitality Education, Sponsored by Premier Foods

The Contract Catering Chef of the Year Award, co-sponsored by Tods Murray & ASA Recruitment

The Healthier Scotland Award, sponsored by the healthyliving award, in association with NHS Health Scotland

The Innovation in Training Award, sponsored by

The Pub-Restaurant Excellence Award, Sponsored by Heinz Foodservice

The Sustainable Business Award, sponsored by Zero Waste Scotland

The Restaurant Newcomer of the Year Award, sponsored by Sodexo

The Independent Hotel of the Year Award, sponsored by Gram

The Restaurant of the Year Award, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions

The Chef of the Year Award, sponsored by BaxterStorey Ltd

The Lifetime Excellence Award, sponsored by Braehead Foods

Full details of the criteria, judging guidelines and electronic entry/nomination forms are available here, where you can also find sponsor profiles, event photography, biographies of the advisory board members, dinner booking forms and a video link to last year’s event.

This year’s ceremony takes place on Thursday 29th May 2014 at the Hilton Glasgow, and promises to be the biggest and most entertaining night since the first event back in 2004.

If you have any queries or need further information in the meantime, please do get in touch prior to the nominations closing date of Monday 10th March.

May we take this opportunity to thank you in advance for your participation, and wish you the best of luck with your entries and nominations.

Yours sincerely,

Alex Buchanan

On behalf of the CIS Excellence Awards organising committee

19% jump in jobseeker visits to indicates hospitality candidates are on the move

In January alone, leading hospitality job board received 1.6 million visits to the site; an increase from 1.2 million for the same month in 2013. For hospitality employers, this can only mean one thing – the battle for talent is getting tougher than ever.

At a recent event, almost 100 hospitality employers from all sectors gathered to look ahead together at 2014. As guests enjoyed the free flowing Prosecco and canapés at little Italy in Soho, talk turned to the successes of the past year and the plans that employers are making to adjust recruitment strategies as the economic recovery continues.  One point that everyone appeared to agree on was that as the market picks up, the job market will begin to move in earnest and employers will find it harder still to attract and hold on to top talent.

Neil Pattison, Sales Director of commented:

“2014 is shaping up to be a landmark year for the hospitality sector. There are already strong signs of market recovery and this is having an impact on the movement of candidates in the sector.  In January alone, had 1.6 million visits to the site; an increase from 1.2 million for the same month in 2013. This increase in candidate activity is only the start and is already having an impact on the recruitment strategies of our clients.”

For HR professionals in particular, the focus is now on managing robust recruitment and retention strategies that keep ahead of candidate movement. supports employers in doing this, helping them deliver on their recruitment strategies through effective products and by offering them free and insightful trends reports, research and events. This support assists employers as they work to be employers of choice in the industry.

Being an employer of choice is essential as the challenge to attract and retain the best talent intensifies.’s well established and free to enter Best Employers in Hospitality Awards offer a respected badge of honour for hospitality employers and a place in the shortlist or a category win will be a valuable part of their recruitment armoury. The awards, now in their fourth successful year, are judged by employee responses via a bespoke online survey, provided by employee engagement experts People Insight U. The awards will be open for entries from the end of March and the awards ceremony will take place at Lancaster London on Monday 29th September.

There seems to be no doubt that hospitality HR professionals are set for a busy year ahead and will therefore welcome support in developing their own skills and talents. Industry group HR in hospitality are an organisation designed specifically for this purpose, and are pleased to support them, recently sponsoring the £2,500 HR in Hospitality Career Development Scholarship which was awarded to Natalie Wild HR Manager at Hollins Hall Marriott, Hotel & Country Club. Natalie attended the recent drinks event and spoke alongside Neil Pattison, Sales Director of, on what the award means to her:

“I am very proud to have won the scholarship. It is a fantastic opportunity to support my own personal development whilst doing a job I thoroughly enjoy. I have decided to use the £2,500 scholarship to undertake a top up MA in Human Resources Management will base my research paper on a project that I am working on with Marriott and to raise awareness of Culinary Talent to young people in the hospitality industry and continue the thread of the work I already do.  I would also like to take the opportunity to thank and HR in Hospitality for the award and would encourage others to be nominated for this personal recognition.”

Be a hero- A post by Hamish Stoddart, Co-Founder, Peach Pub Company

Corporate social responsibility initiatives have known links to team engagement. Such activities might include offering time off to volunteer, fundraising or taking part in sponsored events. But at the Peach Pub Company, they are taking this concept a step further, with an ambitious conservation project on the northern border of the Maasai Mara.

The project was conceived seven years ago, when Peach pledged to plant 1,000 trees in Africa for every pub they opened. The Enonkishu Conservancy is under threat from over-farming, with thousands of acres of big game habitat being lost each year. The Last Line of Defence project, fronted by Peach co-founder Hamish Stoddart, aims to restore lost forest while supporting sustainable faming projects. By May, their goal is to have planted 20,000 trees.

It’s an audacious target, but for Hamish, it’s a cause close to his heart. “Africa and in particular the Maasai Mara are both passions of mine, and whilst we do lots close to home to support good causes, we chose the Last Line of Defence and the Enonkishu Conservancy as our priorities this year,” he said.  “In the last few years, the change in the environment and land use has accelerated even more and we now need to take real action to preserve the last great land migration in the world.”

But there is another cause equally close to his heart, and that is his people. In January, 10 of the Peach team journeyed out to the Maasai Mara to complete the latest leg of the project. Sleeping under the stars, playing football with the locals and game-spotting: this was the trip of a lifetime. It was a chance for the company to reward good performance, encourage team work and increase engagement.

Peach Pubs also runs a ‘Peach Heroes’ scheme, which rewards those who have done something exceptional in their work. This culture of rewarding and incentivising good performance has contributed to the company winning a Best Employers in Hospitality award for the third year in a row.

Hamish said, “We are always looking for great people to join our team. If you’re a great caterer and up for an exciting challenge, we’d be keen to hear from you.

“At Peach we believe in helping communities make a difference –
that means both the communities around our pubs and those in Africa. Though we can only do a little something to help, we are all keen to make that difference. Just take a look here to find out more about what we are doing.”

Click here if you want a slice of the Peach action!


Time is ticking…says Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association…the time for action is now

May 7th 2015 may seem a long way off but the reality is this; in campaigning and lobbying terms, the countdown has begun towards the next general election.  By the time of our Hospitality & Tourism Summit in June 2014, each of the key political parties be making the finishing touches to their manifesto.

Hospitality and tourism was not featured in any of the manifestos at the last general election.  Now, though, we have a shot at inclusion.

Thanks to key BHA-led initiatives like the Olympics and led by the BHA, key initiatives such as the Olympics and the Big Hospitality Conversation – an initiative which demonstrates our industry’s passion and commitment for helping to tackle youth unemployment across every region of the UK and firmly setting our industry on the UK plc’s agenda for growth – our political capital has never been higher.

Our mission is to ensure that the UK hospitality and tourism industry receives recognition as best in the world.  To help us achieve this it is vital that we continue to focus on recruiting and growing the best talent, capitalising and building on the successes of the Big Hospitality Conversation.

Over the past three years our industry profile has grown thanks to the efforts of the industry. 2014, too, has got off to a fast pace.  Despite all this, the hospitality and tourism industry now have just four short months to make a significant impact.

First and foremost we need to work as one; pooling our expertise, resources and ideas to future-proof our industry.  Embracing and capitalising on innovation and technology will support this mission and the young people who form the backbone of our industry will be key to this process.

Over the coming months our mission will and must be to make our goals a reality.  We have a unique and unprecedented opportunity to make our voice heard.  We must take action now…

  • Inspire the next generation:  join the Big Hospitality Conversation, the biggest job creation drive the industry has ever known – and work with us to achieve the ambitious target of creating 300,000 new jobs by 2020
  • Continue to work collectively and as one voice:  one fine example of action-in-progress is the Campaign for Tourism.  This industry-led and politically-motivated campaign aims to ensure tourism is positively referenced in the campaign manifestos of all three political parties for the general election.  The Campaign for Tourism is supported by many of the 250,000 tourism businesses across the UK, with the BHA at the forefront.  If you haven’t already, sign up now!
  • Adopt your MP:  lobby your local MP; encourage them to find out more about our industry by spending a day with you and your workforce

Time is ticking and the time for action is now.  This is a key moment for the hospitality and tourism industry.  By working collectively and making our collective voice heard, we have the opportunity to make a difference not only for now, but for future generations Best Employers in Hospitality 2014

Established. Respected. Free

We are delighted to announce that the Best Employers in Hospitality Awards will be open for entries from the first week of April 2014.

The Best Employers in Hospitality Awards, now in their fourth successful year, are the only established and recognised employer awards in the hospitality industry and are free to enter.

Respected by hospitality employers and employees as a truly credible mark of a great employer in the industry, the awards have grown each year to involve hundreds of employers and thousands of employees annually. The awards represent great employers from all sectors and are judged only on the views of their employees. Entry is free and simple via an online employee engagement survey and each employer who completes their entry will receive a free engagement report giving details of their employee responses across a range of key engagement areas.

The Best Employers in Hospitality Awards 2014 results include a Top 50 Best Employers in Hospitality ranking and a series of category winners, recognising not just the best employer overall but the best in each sector and in each employer grouping too. This makes these awards genuinely representative of the industry as a whole and acknowledges the full range of best employers within it.

This year we have stepped up the quality even further by partnering with respected employee engagement experts People Insight, who have developed a wonderfully agile, relevant and impactful employee survey for the Best Employers in Hospitality Awards 2014. This new, bespoke survey contains refined questioning which gains deep, detailed insight into your employee engagement levels and at the same time keeps the survey short and simple to complete. A bonus for any employer, especially those with a large number of employees to survey! We are delighted that People Insight’s involvement with the awards has led to a far more accessible and meaningful entry process for employers and employees alike.

People Insight come with great provenance in the sector and count an impressive list of industry employers amongst their clients, including Marston’s Inns & Taverns, Itsu, Firmdale Hotels Group, Virgin Active, Pitcher & Piano and LivingWell Health Clubs.

Tom Debenham, Managing Director of People Insight said of their involvement “We know that the best employers in any sector are the ones that engage their staff, develop their potential, and motivate them to give of their best. Nowhere is this more important than in the hospitality sector, where employee skills, attentiveness and attitude are so central to the customer experience.”

“People Insight are therefore delighted to support the Best Employers in Hospitality 2014, help showcase great hospitality employers in terms of their approach to engaging their people, and provide useful case studies and inspiration for others.”

Are you a best employer in hospitality? Make sure you enter and find out! Look out for announcements here in the group as we move towards launch.

If you have any questions please contact

Follow us on Twitter and join in the conversation #BestEmployers2014

Future Talent – A Post by Ian Burke, Website Director,

You can’t ignore it…even if it is only just audible, the low hum of economic optimism is in the air. If the gloom really is lifting, then hospitality employers will face fresh challenges as the job market starts to shift in earnest. Woe betide any employer who isn’t already preparing the ground to cope with staffing demands when things really start to move.  Are you planning ahead?

Perhaps now more than ever, customers expect not just a good service, but a great experience. Good enough simply isn’t good enough anymore. Outstanding hospitality businesses work hard to attract and retain staff who can deliver on that expectation. They tend to be the best employers in the industry too and candidates know it.

There has and always will be a painful skills shortage in the sector, but successful hospitality employers understand that the talent is absolutely out there for those who think carefully about how to engage with it. As the economy starts to warm up slowly, employers need to move fast to position themselves as the best in the business.

At, we work closely with all sizes of hospitality business to assist them in recruiting quality candidates, enabling them to communicate the right messages through their campaigns with us. Without fail, the employers with the most effective recruitment campaigns are those who have done the groundwork, really thinking about what makes them the best employers they can be.

Inside their company, these employers encourage a pipeline of young managers within the business through development schemes. They invest time (if not budget!) in meaningful training. They have considered what makes the best talent stay with them …or leave.

Looking outside their organisation, these businesses think about their employer brand and know what makes them a great place to work, clearly showcasing this in their advertising and communications. They define what makes their top employees tick and then target their advertising at similar candidates. They understand what their future talent wants from an employer and they work hard to provide it.

The great employers in the business think creatively about where their future talent will come from. Students, women returners and those currently working in other sectors are just some of the groups they consider. They are often involved with the many wonderful organisations that reach out to these audiences on behalf of the industry.

As we look ahead through 2014 and beyond, we can be certain of one thing; the demand for great staff will be higher than ever. Large or small, the most successful hospitality businesses will have positioned themselves well to recruit and retain the top talent in the industry, not just this year, but way into the future.  Now is the time to plan and take action. Where’s your future talent coming from? are holding an employer event on Future Talent on 3rd April 2014 in London. If you are a hospitality employer and would like to find out more about this free to attend event please contact


The Red Lion Great Sausage Roll Off is back for 2014

After the success of the inaugural event last January, Claire Morgan & Angus McKean of The Red Lion, Barnes are hosting their second “Great Sausage Roll Off” on January 28. The contest is a simple one, an invitation to chefs from London and beyond to create the ultimate sausage roll.

Once again, the competition will be expertly compered by good friend and local of The Red Lion, beer and food writer Melissa Cole. Last year’s competition saw some chefs using rather ambitious flavour combinations and others using luxury ingredients such as truffles, lobster and even mackerel.
The more outlandish creations were given the thumbs-down by judges Kate Spicer of The Sunday Times, MasterChef judge and writer Charles Campion and chef and restaurateur Johnny Mountain. To the shame of the English chefs competing, the trophy for this most British of delicacies was carried off by a Frenchman.

This year the competition boasts MasterChef winners both amongst the competitors and the judges, with returning head judge Charles Campion being joined by celebrity MasterChef winner Lisa Faulkner. Tim Anderson, the 2011 MasterChef winner who is now running Japanese restaurant NanBan, will be one of the contestants vying to wrench the trophy from the hands of its current holder, The Masons Arms in Battersea.

Completing the line up of expert judges are National Chef of the year Hayden Groves and food blogger Danny Kingston aka Food Urchin.

Other confirmed entrants are prestigious pubs such as The Wykenham Arms in Winchester , The Bull in Highgate, Chef Paul Merrett’s The Victoria in East Sheen, The Malt House in Fulham, The newly opened Running Horse in Mayfair, The Cricketers in Hartley Wintney and Salt Yard’s Famous Opera Tavern to name a few.

Angus McKean commented: “Everyone loves a sausage roll – and last year’s selection was a combination of delicious, interesting and, quite frankly, just odd.  I’m hoping for more of the same this year.

“I’m very proud of our food in the Red Lion and it’s an inspiring experience to allow other chefs on to my turf to fight it out for Britain’s most superb sausage roll.”

What promises to be a very enjoyable evening will start at 7pm and spectators will be able to sample some sausage rolls from each competing chef as they emerge from the kitchen. There’s no need for tickets – just turn up to grab a spot.

For more information contact, – 02089962198 or – 02089962175 and follow the conversation on Twitter #RollOff

The Princes Trust deliver great hospitality programmes

The Prince’s Trust is delivering a Get into Hospitality programme in Central Bedfordshire, as well as a Get into Cooking programme in Padstow. This programme will recruit people between the ages of 16- 25 who are passionate about developing a career within the industry. They receive two weeks training where they learn all about the hospitality sector whilst developing key skills, such as, communication, team working, confidence building and other key skills that support them in the role.

The programme offers employers-

  • Support recruiting the right young people. We have a recruitment team who spend a lot of time working with employers to identify young people who may lack the confidence to go straight into employment. The programme develops them so they are work ready.
  • They complete relevant qualifications to support them in the role.
  • They receive six months follow up support.
  • Off the back of coming onto our programme the employer has a committed member of staff who is keen to prove themselves.
  • If you can offer two week work placements you can ‘try before you buy.’

It would be great to hear from employers who can offer work placement opportunities, there is no commitment to offer the young people employment but if they do well it would be great if the organisations could keep them in mind for future positions.

For further information on the Get into Hospitality programme please contact Aimee on 07717 686 491-

For further information on the Get into Cooking programme please contact Shelly on 01752 521051 –

British cooking revolution celebrated with launch of prestigious ‘Chef Stagiaire award’

An inspiring new experience launching in January 2014, the Chef Stagiaire Award seeks to uncover the cream of the new wave of young chef talent currently emerging as the British cooking revolution continues apace. Entrants are all aiming to win the ultimate experience of Stages in some of the finest kitchens in the world.

Twenty of the most innovative entrants will battle it out in the Chef Stagiaire Award, each one taking part in a 1 week Stage at one of twenty of the most highly acclaimed restaurants in the UK [details below]

2 finalists will emerge who will go head to head in the final Stage at 2 Michelin star ‘Dinner by Heston Blumenthal’ at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London, where Executive Chef of The Fat Duck Group, Ashley Palmer Watts, will judge them both on technique, attitude and ability throughout the 1 week Stage.

The winner will undertake an unforgettable prize of an all expenses paid, 2 week trip to work with the pioneering  Dominique Crenn, the first female American Chef to be awarded 2 Michelin stars, at her ‘Atelier Crenn’ restaurant in San Francisco before flying on to the immense Six Senses ‘Zighy Bay Resort’ in Oman, voted Best Restaurant in the Middle East 2012, for a further 2 weeks of creative cooking as well as enjoying the opulent accommodation.

An elite team of widely celebrated British Judges will form the panel to assess the initial paper applications which shortlist the entrants down to the final 20;

•             James Mackenzie of The Pipe & Glass, Yorkshire [1 Michelin Star]

•             Richard Turner of Turners, Birmingham [1 Michelin Star]

•             Robert Kirby, Chef Director of Lexington Catering, London [Cateys Chef of the Year 2013]

For more information click here or alternatively you can call 0800 012 6949 or email


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